Robot performs 1000th surgery

Local News

At the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, surgeons literally work hand in hand with a robot.

Dr. Jessica Shuman, said it’s undoubtedly a positive addition to the hospital.

“This is in many ways better, better than what a human can do without the robot,” Shuman said.

A robot, formally known as the Da Vinci SI Surgical System.

A trained doctor sits at its console with a 3-D view finder.

From there they can control robotic arms to perform on a patient on the table.

“We can adjust a large movement of our hand to a teen tiny movement at the tip of the instrument,” Shuman said,

It can perform Gynecology and Urology procedures; and soon Cardio Thoracic surgery.

Dr. Shuman said the technology does a lot of work but people still play a major part in the procedure.

Other doctors act as an extra set of eyes, monitoring the patients.

The surgeon at the bedside is able to communicate with the surgeon at the console, using a touch-screen they can pinpoint important areas to focus on.

Safe in the arms of a robot might sound intimidating, but Shelly Lachat said it’s a good option to have.

Not only does she work with the robot daily as a Registered Nurse and Robotic coordinator, she’s also been a patient of its own. 

“With having worked with the robot and seeing how it’s used, I felt very comfortable having the robotic procedure done,” Lachat said.

Over 5 years, the Da Vinci System has completed 1,000 procedures..

But Dr. Shuman said a robot is only as good as the doctor controlling it.

I would want my surgery done by a surgeon who whose hands and caring heart were a part of the whole process and fortunately with the robot that is what you get,” Shuman said.

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